Artist MariNaomi is recognized by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis at the unveiling of her mural last Friday at Garvey Park in Rosemead. George Takei, Yuri Kochiyama and Grace Lee Boggs are among the notable Asian Americans depicted in the 60-by-10-foot comic strip illustration.
The mural depicts the history and many contributions of the AAPI community to L.A. County, the contemporary targeting of API residents due to COVID-related backlash, the journey from hate to healing, and the need for advocacy to ensure solidarity and inclusion for all.
This event followed a March 21 motion, authored by Solis and unanimously passed by the Board of Supervisors, to expand the county’s L.A. vs. Hate initiative to combat hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. L.A. vs. Hate enables L.A. County residents who are survivors of hate crimes and hate incidents to report hate to 211-LA, and connects these residents with a network of local and culturally attuned organizations that provide assistance and prevention strategies. The graphic novel, using a cartoonist’s approach, was made possible by L.A. Care Health Plan.
Also at the unveiling were Rosemead Mayor Polly Low; Robin Toma (pictured), executive director of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations; Dr. Alex Li of L.A. Care Health Plan; Otto Solorzano of WDACS (L.A. County Department Of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services); Michelle Freridge of Asian Youth Center; and Connie Chung Joe, chief executive officer of Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
MariNaomi’s comics and paintings have been featured by such institutions as the Smithsonian, the De Young Museum, the Cartoon Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum, and the Japanese American National Museum. Visit her website at MariNaomi.com.
The mural can be viewed for the next couple of months at the Garvey Park Gym, 7954 Dorothy St.
Photos by MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo